Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley is back with his first solo album entitled “Stony Hill” in nearly 12 years. The 18 track disc is his most recent studio project since the release of the Grammy award winning “Welcome To Jamrock” back in 2005. The 39 year- old singer/songwriter/producer has kept a low profile in the meantime, but, has been known for surprise collaborations within various genres over the years. For example, Marley released a duo set album with rapper Nas titled “Distant Relatives” in 2010. In addition to that, he was featured on the track Liquor Store Blues alongside pop singer Bruno Mars, and teamed up with electronic/dance producer Skrillex on the 2012 underground hit Make It Bun Dem. Fast forward to today, Marley recently popped up on Jay-Z’s newest project 4:44, on the song Bam.
The versatile style of the youngest man in the Marley clan is displayed throughout the full length disc. With a fresh blend of up tempo feel good jams, sultry mellow grooves, and even a couple in depth politically driven tracks. The album seems to have a little something for everyone. There are a number of standout tracks such as Grown & Sexy that have a smoother type of flow. Marley digs deeper as he addresses a number of social/injustice issues on songs like Slave Mill and A Child May Follow.
Nevertheless, much to the delight of Marley fans, you will find yourself grooving along with the Rasta man as he stays true to his Jamaican/reggae roots on singles like Looks Are Deceiving, Here We Go and Nail Pon Cross. Perhaps the two highlights of the album come on Meditation, a mid-tempo ballad with fellow crooner Stephen Marley, and on the celebratory Living It Up, where Marley boasts…
“Daddy made it out, out of the ghetto…!! / Believe in your dreams, believe in me don’t let go! / We livin’ it up, havin’ a good time baby! I was born uptown, in a ghetto dream now ain’t life crazy..”
“Stony Hill” is by far the reggae star’s best collective effort to date.
Marley also recently announced that he will be going on tour this fall, performing 29 shows across the US starting September 1. With an album like this, he’s sure to sell out fast.
The full album is available in stores now.